Banks and Foreign Exchange
The rand, South Africa’s currency, is divided into 100
cents. Notes are available in denominations of R10, 20, 50, 100
and 200, whereas coins are in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c,
50c, R1, R2 and R5.
There are numerous banks, bureaus de change and ATMs all over
the country. General opening hours for banks are 9am-3.30pm on
weekdays and 8.30-11 am on Saturdays. Banks located at airports
are likely to have more flexible timings to account for arrival
of international flights.
Mastercard and Visa are the most accepted credit cards (Diners
Club and American Express are also accepted), but it is important
to carry cash especially when shopping at smaller outlets or
traveling in rural areas. Most petrol stations will accept card
but some can be cash-only.
South Africa has four main cell phone service
providers, including Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and Virgin Mobile.
Land line services are
mainly operated by Telkom SA Ltd. They also operate public telephones
where payment can be made by coins or phone cards available at
post offices, petrol stations and most retail stores.
Cell phones can be rented from the airport. The country also
has many internet cafes and post offices with the usual services
being provided. South Africa’s international telephone
country code is +27. Phone directories include the White Pages
for resident subscribers to Telkom and the Yellow Pages focus
on businesses and products.
South Africa is generally a clean country with hygienically
treated water and a reasonable climate. Adults do not require
inoculations unless traveling from a yellow-fever endemic area
for which inoculation evidence will be required. Children up
to the age of 12 should have Hepatitis B inoculations and boosters
for measles and tetanus.
There are numerous hospitals and clinics all over the country.
To avoid sun-related diseases, it is recommended to wear sun
screen and sun glasses, especially between 10am and 4pm even
when the sky is cloudy.
Tap water is treated and can be consumed directly, but mineral
water is also available. Avoid drinking directly from rivers
and streams unless they are up mountain to avoid waterborne diseases.
Most tourist areas are malaria free, but when traveling out
of these it is advised that you wear mosquito repellent and full
clothing, and sleep under a mosquito net.
Always have safe sex as South Africa has one of the highest
rates of HIV in the world.
Smoking is not allowed in most public areas.
The time remains the same in all areas of the country throughout
the year. Tipping
is a common practice and the likes of taxi drivers, hair dressers,
petrol station attendants, waiting staff, security guards and
bartenders will expect to be tipped a small amount.
round pin and electricity is usually 220/330 volts with 15
amp three prong or 5 amp two-prong plugs.
If you wish to tour the country then renting
a car is a good idea, and if flying into Johannesburg you should
hire Johannesburg Airport who should be able to help you.
It is always best to pre-book your rental if
at all possible to get the best prices and availability you can.